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A delicious and fragrant dish that is easy to cook. Serve with Middle Eastern breads and couscous.Serves: 6
- 10 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 banana shallots, peeled and sliced lengthways
- 400g peeled butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1.5cm chunks
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick round slices
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- 4cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- large pinch saffron threads
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- pinch crushed dried chilli
- 15 dried apricots, cut in half
- 12 kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- Peel of half a preserved lemon, thinly sliced
- 750ml chicken stock
- 2 rounded tbsp clear honey
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds for garnishing
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 180C/160C/gas 4.
- Heat the oil in a large oven-proof casserole dish.
- Slash the skin on each thigh a couple of times and add the chicken, skin-side down, and brown well, all over – you can do it in batches. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Lower heat slightly, add the shallots to the pan and cook until golden and soft but not burnt.
- Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for 30 seconds before adding all the spices and cooking for 1 minute more.
- Now add the butternut squash into the pan and stir to coat in the spices.
- Pour over the stock and mix in the tomato purée, dried apricots, olives, and preserved lemon rind,
- Arrange the chicken, skin side uppermost, on top of the shallots and squash and spice mix.
- Drizzle the honey over the thighs. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and then transfer to the oven to bake for 40 minutes until tender.
- Scatter with the coriander and pomegranate seeds, and serve with couscous and a bowl of harissa.